There are times when food looks so spectacular that it enters the realm of edible art. A university student and baker named Rin, aka @rinsforest, has done just this with their incredibly cute capybara cheesecake. The delectable dessert features the three rodents soaking in an onsen, or Japanese hot spring, sitting atop the cake surrounded by sculpted rocks, oranges, and leaves.
Capybaras in an onsen, it turns out, is a real thing. “When I saw photos and videos of Japan’s hot springs for capybaras, I knew this was the scene I wanted to recreate,” Rin tells My Modern Met. “The capybaras and miscellaneous details on top are all made of nerikiri—a confection made of white beans that is often used in traditional Japanese sweets called wagashi.”
After admiring the work of other wagashi artists, Rin knew they wanted to try making their own as a fun summer project. “Jelly-encased fruit cakes and island cakes have also been trending this year and I was very intrigued by the realism of these water-based desserts,” they explain.
“The cake itself is a simple no-bake cheesecake topped with a panna cotta layer. I used both artificial and natural colors such as mugwort and black sesame to color the nerikiri, and then handcrafted it into capybaras and other details. I then arranged the wagashi pieces on top and poured over the jelly to make the onsen.”
The great thing about edible art is that once it's photographed and admired, you get to dig in. Rin made the cake with their parents in mind, and they gathered to enjoy the sweet treat. “I’ve been making huge messes in the kitchen since I was a child and my parents have always patiently supported my culinary experiments. My mother was especially delighted by the details, and I was grateful to have been able to enjoy it together.”
And as for more culinary creations, Rin already has ideas for what they’ll tackle next. “I really love the whimsical look of jelly cakes, so I would really like to make another nature-inspired dessert. Wagashi that look like little ponds of goldfish is a cute summertime sweet, and I would definitely like to try making it someday.”
A baker named Rin created an adorable—and delectable—cheesecake that looks like three capybaras soaking in a Japanese onsen.